“When we finally bought plane tickets in February 2014, that’s when we knew the Camino was really going to happen.”
“After watching the documentary ‘Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago’ in October 2013 with my boyfriend Cameron (he’s the one in the photo), we both vowed to walk it as well. We didn’t let anything get in the way of that goal. We saved carefully for 7 months – no going out to eat, no buying new clothes – and when we finally bought plane tickets in February 2014, that’s when we knew the Camino was really going to happen.
I didn’t initially think of the Camino as a spiritual quest. I was more drawn to the idea of it as a test of my own strength. I’ve always felt that if I take on things that scare me, if I try to slowly tackle things that seem impossible, I can prove to myself that that I’m strong – that I can accomplish anything! Well, the first 10 days of the Camino were discouraging because I struggled HARD. I hadn’t trained much and my body suffered for it. I remember speaking to a man on the third day – I never got his name – who noticed my pain and told me “the first 10 days will be physical, the second 10 days will be mental, and the last 10 days will be spiritual.” That man really knew what he was talking about.
At the start I thought this was about strength. But, as the man foretold, I experienced and gained so much more. The Camino changed my whole outlook on life. I regained my faith in humanity, I began to think more positively about things in general, and I guess you can call these spiritual things. I also learned so much from people I met on the Camino, from all over the world. The people I met became my family, whether I talked to them for just a few days or throughout the whole journey. We traded ideas and stories, shared food and other things without question, and we all took care of each other. These strangers from all over the world impacted my life on so many levels, and now have become some of my deepest relationships. Even if we’re separated and don’t see each other every day anymore, in my heart I think of those people. I know that in a special way, I will always be there for them and they for me.”